Religious Education: A Tool for Countering Violent Extremism in Northern Nigeria

by Hadjara Shibkau


Nigeria returned to democracy in May 1999. Since then, armed non-state groups, largely using young men as foot soldiers, have significantly undermined the country’s internal security. Many young people become radicalized and have joined these armed groups, the most well-known being Boko Haram. Boko Haram’s ideology is premised on an extreme Islamic teaching that rejects most Western ideas and institutions as un-Islamic. This rejection earned the group its popular name: Boko Haram literally means “Western education is forbidden.” (more…)

Violent extremism in Turkey

by Madeleen Castro


The current wave of violent extremism is not limited to one region of the world. Instead, it has spread across the international arena through a variety of groups and their radical ideologies. And Turkey is on the front lines.  Both internally and externally, it is faced with a major security problem in terms of containing and countering extremism. Religious education is needed now more than ever to counter the appeal that violent extremism appears to hold for many. However, Turkey appears at this stage to be more significantly focused on containing terrorism and retaliating to violent acts (more…)

Violent Religious Extremism in Africa: A Stench to Our Common Humanity

by Lesmore Gibson


From-Mali-the-rebels-can-menace-the-Mediterranean-according-to-Staffan-De-Mistura-Photo-AFP-cover (1)

Telling the Horrendous Reality

From West Africa to Central and East Africa sub-regions the challenges that inhibit experiencing sustainable peace are evident. These sub-regions have been confronted with the menace of violent religious extremism that has led to wanton destructions of human lives, sources of livelihood and other properties and valuable assets. For instance, the current terror situation perpetuated by al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Jabhat Ansar al-din operating predominantly in greater Sahel countries. The terror activities of the two religious extremist groups have created situations of abject fear and suspicion among people of different religious belongs within the region. (more…)

Educating against religious bullying

by W.Y. Alice Chan



Montréal is known for being multicultural; however, with respect to religion, individuals who self-identify as Christians compose 74 per cent of the population, followed by 15 per cent who are non-religious, six per cent who are Muslims, and two per cent who are adherents of Judaism (Statistics Canada, 2013).  Although diversity exists, as Christians include those who are Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Christian Orthodox, and other denominations of Christianity, the multi-religious representation in Montréal is quite uneven.  As a minority group, many Muslims in Montréal are experiencing the most hostile climate they have faced since 9/11. (more…)

How I Came to Study Religious Violence

by Mark Juergensmeyer

 Golden_Temple_India (cropped)

Why would a nice guy from a farm in Southern Illinois, a Christian pacifist and a Gandhian, turn to the study of religious violence? The answer is the Sikhs. I had lived for a couple of years in the Punjab, the region in the far north of India in the Himalayan foothills, where the largest religious community was not Hindu or Muslim but a relatively new religious tradition that followed a series of spiritual masters from the 16th and 17th centuries. What attracted me to Sikhism was not only its peaceful spiritual teaching but also the egalitarian spirit of the community. Sikhs were warm, generous, open-hearted rural people, and I found in them a certain kinship. (more…)

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